Her Fearful Symmetry
Julia and Valentina Poole are normal American teenagers — normal, at least, for identical “mirror” twins who have no interest in college or jobs or possibly anything outside their cozy suburban home. But everything changes when they receive notice that an aunt whom they didn’t know existed has died and left them her amazing flat in a building by Highgate Cemetery in London. They feel that at last their own lives can begin … but they have no idea that they’ve been summoned into a tangle of fraying lives, from the OCD-suffering crossword setter who lives above them to their aunt’s mysterious and elusive lover who lives below them, and even to their aunt herself, who never got over her estrangement from the mother of the girls — her own twin — and who can’t even seem to quite leave her flat….
From the Hardcover edition.
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Elspeth died while Robert was standing in front of a vending machine watching tea shoot into a small plastic cup. Later he would remember walking down the hospital corridor with the cup of horrible tea in his hand, alone under the fluorescent lights, retracing his steps to the room where Elspeth lay...
1. What examples and imagery does the novel contain of people being trapped?
2. After Elspeth's out-of-body experience at the very beginning, the novel progresses a long way in a detailed, naturalistic manner before furtther supernatural events begin to occur. What effect does this structure have on you as a...
LONGLISTED FOR THE INTERNATIONAL IMPAC DUBLIN LITERARY AWARD
"An awesomely good read." Chatelaine
"Quirkily observed and rich on every level: plot, character, mood and theme.... She conjures a memorable world, and grants most of her characters happy endings, though perhaps not the ones they would have asked for." The Globe and Mail
"Entertaining.... The reader is pleasantly carried along by the author’s ability to create credible characters and her instinctive narrative gifts.... The most powerful parts of Her Fearful Symmetry...deal not with paranormal events but with the ordinary pleasures and frustrations of life." The New York Times
"A modern Victorian novel revolving around a London cemetery, ghostly hauntings and a well-kept secret.... A bewitching modern-gothic tale that is at once unsettling and intriguing." Chicago Sun-Times
"Talk about time travel: The novel blends the history of London’s famed Highgate Cemetery, the remarkable phenomena of mirror-image twins and the question of life after death into a ghost story that feels as if it could have been written a century ago." National Post
"Odd and disturbing but intensely mesmerizing and memorable. . . . Niffenegger spins such a riveting story--just like she did in The Time Traveler’s Wife--that suspending disbelief is a pleasure." The Miami Herald